I am in search of the perfect keyboard layout. Maybe you are too?
If you’re anything like I am, you have forever looked at the keys on your keyboard and thought: “There has got to be a better way.” I know I did. Years ago I taught myself how to type over 100 words a minute on a regular keyboard. I practiced for hours on end, like it was a game.
I became extremely quick, so quick that I could type fast enough that I actually could not read what I was typing. Seriously, I was a machine– I probably could have gotten a job transcribing the 6 o’clock news in real time. Yet I remained dissatisfied.
I finally found what I was looking for in the Dvorak keyboard. Due to the placement of the letters, Dvorak helps people type with much more relaxed hands, preventing stress and carpel tunnel, and eventually allowing for more speed than before. Here’s a video of the David Letterman show where they had a Dvorak typist Â (the fastest in the world) compete live on the show, with hilarious results.
Anyway, there I was adapting to the fastest keyboard on the planet just last year. I had totally gotten used to the new layout (which looks like this btw) when a nightmare landed in my lap, literally. I got an iPad.
I’d like to mention at this point that, during the adaptation process to this new layout, I had remapped my idea of what a keyboard was to the Dvorak layout… I had literally forgotten the information I had previously learned and had no idea where the original keys were until I looked down at the keyboard. It was weird. It was like my brain only had room for one layout.
So it’s likely that very few of you know this, but Dvorak is not supported on iPad since it’s a closed system, it can’t be changed without jailbreaking, which I’d have to do for every software update, blah blah blah. Basically it’s a pain in the ass.
Unsurprisingly for an enterprising type such as myself, I am looking at alternatives at this point, including possibly learning to type in QWERTY with one-hand, which I’ve always considered to be the Holy Grail of the keyboard world. There are alternate layouts for one-handed typing, but I think it’s become clear at this point that the future is software keyboards, and that Dvorak is not included in this mission. So this blog post is being written in QWERTY and, let me tell you, it’s slow going.Â Returning to this layout almost feels like going back to the stone-age– it feels clunky and weird.
I’m not sure why I’m posting this, really. It isn’t anti-Apple or anything but it is giving me an idea o what can happen to (valid) alternate usage stuff when you have closed platforms like the iPad is. First time when I’ve tried to hack something into working better for me and now it’s been made unavailable. 😛
Has this ever happened to you? Please pipe up if it has, I’d be interested in hearing the story.